Advanced Directives and Estate Plans

Advanced Directives and Estate Plans

An estate plan is generally known as a set of documents that outlines your assets and your beneficiaries after your death. But did you know that your estate plan can also include an outline of your wishes while you’re still alive? Understanding the different directives of your estate can help you plan for life’s unexpected circumstances. We’ve created an overview of three different directives.


Living Will

A living will is a legal description of the types of medical treatments you consent to if you are unconscious or on life support. These directives will give a clear picture to caregivers about your values and expectations. For example, if you are on life support, would you want to remain on life support? For how long? Would you like providers and family members to take a specific prognosis into consideration when determining the continuation of life support? Do you wish to be resuscitated if you no longer have vital signs? Having these decisions documented will give you some control while unconscious, and can also give family members peace of mind knowing that your wishes were carried out.


Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a designated individual that is given the power to act as a financial, medical, or legal decision-maker in an area of your choosing. There are a few different designations for a power of attorney and each explains the exact responsibilities within an estate. For example, if you are buying a house in a different state and want someone else to have the right to sign documents in your absence, then you may grant them limited power of attorney. Another example is if you need to rely on someone to make decisions on your behalf in the event that you are considered medically incompetent, then you may designate a durable power of attorney to manage your daily and financial responsibilities in your place.


Healthcare Proxy

Like a power of attorney, a health-care proxy is an individual that is given the power to act on your behalf. The main difference is that a healthcare proxy is only designated to make healthcare decisions in the event that you are unable. This individual can use the information outlined in your living will, or be a person you can trust will have your best interests in mind. The documents can also outline exactly what types of medical decisions they can make and what private medical information they have access to. 


Directives and your estate plan

When formulating your own estate plan, it’s important to consider who you trust in life and what that trusted person is capable of doing. Incorporating the beneficiaries and stakeholders of your estate within the planning process can allow everyone to stay on the same page. It also helps to make sure that someone agrees to take on those responsibilities! You know the people in your life best and where their skills are strongest. 

It can be challenging to consider all of the variables within an estate plan, which is why involving legal counsel is so beneficial to the process. If you have questions about your estate plan or need advice on including specific directives, contact Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. by filling out a contact form or calling 718.276.6656 today.

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Advanced Directives and Estate Plans

Ledwidge & Associates

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. in New York City has years of experience helping clients create estate plans that fit their needs. We have the experience and resources to handle your critical legal matters with the utmost care and attention to detail.